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tv   Crossfire  CNN  December 19, 2013 3:30pm-4:01pm PST

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millions as long as viewers were tuning in to watch tamed reality television, but this is true reality. robertson is who he is. my first advice here in the country is -- take a deep breath. it's christmas. be charitable. try to break out of this cycle of running around trying out who's going to offend us next. >> well, you know, newt, i think we're probably going to disagree with us on this. it is christmas. to me, this guy looks like santa claus, but he was leaving a lot of coal for a lot of people in our country. in the crossfire tonight, l.z. granderson. and penny nance. penny, this has blown up, become a huge story here, all around the world. before we go further, i want to make sure that people know the kinds of comments we are talking about here. if we can put them up. he says -- it seems to me -- and
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i policy crisis if anyone gets offended -- that a vagina as a man would be more desirable than an anus. she's got more to offered. c'mon, dudes, but hey, sin, it's not logical, my man. it's just not logical. now, listen, can we at least stipulate that a private corporate, a private media company that says, i just don't want to be associated with those comments, at least has the right to say this is not the kind of comments i want to be associated with. >> first, i need to apologize to my parents who are watching, but anyway, there were several things that made me uncomfortable in what he said. you know, i wasn't particularly thrilled with what you just mentioned, but news flash, he's not polished. we like that about him. and he's an entertainer. so yes, i actually do agree with
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you. i think a & e has every right to contract with who they choose to contract with. they have 11.8 viewers. i'm thinking they're not going away, but the bottom line is we live in a society where we can't shut down debate just because we don't want to hear it. we need to be able to have a discussion, and i think a civil discourse about what we believe on these matters of faith. there are deep issues that demand an answer in this country. the issue of marriage, the issue of sin is a difficult one. the issues of life. we all talk about all sorts of difficult issues, and we're not going to shut up just because people don't want to hear it. >> i feel like i've been hearing people saying the first amendment is being destroyed. this is not the government doing. this is a decision made by a private corporation. >> in this case i do they they have the right to do it, but we have private businesses whose
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first amendment, free expression of rights are being squelched. in new mexico you have photographers shut down because the supreme court said she had to take care -- you have bakeries, printers. if you say you have a right to contract with who you choose, it needs to work both ways. >> i'm sure we'll get around to that. >> like i say, my point earlier wasn't that it was illegal, but it was stupid. in the modern world, we have all sorts of different groups with strong opinions, lots of people out here who feel deeply about a variety of issues, but isn't there some space in civil society for a christian who is quoting the bible? and the fact is while he's clumsy and crude in some ways, essentially paraphrasing corinthians, and doing it, by the way, in response to a very specific question. a reporter says to him, how do you think about sin? how do you define sin?
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he doesn't do it as well as st. paul, but doesn't he have the right -- but shouldn't people -- isn't there something wrong with punishing somebody for paraphrasing the bible. >> it depends, right? we don't know what the stipulation of his contracts are. i worked with two media companies, cnn as well as espn, in both my contracts if i say something stupid i could by fired, at the very least suspended. espn just made news, because last week the reporters were sent out another reminder, if you say something ill-mannered with the jameis winston verdict, you can be in trouble. this is some idiot out of the backwoods, as you try to characterize him, or he he characterizes himself. but he has a master's degree. he's a smart man.
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he knew this would bring up controversy, and he's probably playing all of us right now. he's not an idiot. >> he's maybe a genius, and great if he is, but can we take a second and recognize the verse? he was quoting i corinthians. you don't know what i'm going to say, and there's something in that verse that could offend all of us. it talks about greed, sex outside of marriage. so there's a whole group of people who believe that homosexuality is a sin, along with, by the way, all these other behaviors. and we have to be able to -- >> the bible has been used throughout history as a way to oppress the minority. whatever the majority is, they've always found the right verse to justify slavery, to justify keeping -- as a matter of fact, there's a couple verses that should have you home right
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now versus that would have me, you know not being in the household i am and not celebrating new mexico's 17th state to have marriage equality. whoever is in power can use the bible to justify their positioning. what offense me is that i'm a christian, okay? i believe jesus christ is my lord and savior and i'm openly gay. i don't have a personal conflict with either one of those positionings, and i'm tired of pseudochristians using the bible to justify being homophobic. say these are your beliefs, don't say it's christianity. >> say they're your pleefs. here is an american citizen expressing his beliefs. all of a sudden he's suspended -- >> because his contract probably says ear in and out supposed to say things. it probably goes against hr policies. >> but can we not be fair to the fact that people who truly believe the whole text the the bible, old and new testament,
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orthodox jews who believe their old testament, some muslims, even the dalai lama who believe that certain behaviors -- by the way there's a whole big list there, and -- hang on, van. can we not agree that it is absolutely different believing in your faith and believing your saeb celt text, and having a hatred and a bigotry towards people? >> that may well be, but i want to ask this question. i am also raised in the church. my grandfather was a bishop in our church. i'm raising my children to be kids of faith in california, which is sometimes controvers l controversial. we have a lot in common, but i want to say this and say it even more forcefully. if i were to point to the bible and say -- to point to the parts of the bible that say slavery and say i believe that black
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people should be enslaved because of the bible, i would have my contract canceled. if i said women should be under the boot heel of a man, never at this workplace, i would lose my contract. we are now in a position where there are things in the bible that are no longer going to be acceptable in the middle of the public square? why is that going to be considered an attack on christianity as opposed to standing up for decency and respect for all americans? >> no one is arguing they don't have the right to cancel contracts. businesses can do as they choose dosh. >> do you agree. >> i don't think they should suspend him. i think he was expressing his beliefs and i don't think they will -- in fact they're doing a whole marathon, because it is a product that people want, and tlc says please suspend him, we would like to have him. i would like to think he's a markets genius, i don't know, maybe i should call him for us if that's the case. you know why i don't think he did it on purpose? because nobody wants to be called a bigot and hateful.
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by the way -- by the way maybe so --. the whole station -- >> honestly, most people, it is painful to point out things that hurt people's feelings. it's painful for me to even talk about the issue of cohabitation, out of wedlock, but if we're going to point to what we think the bible says or what is best for society, sometimes we have to say stuff that's not popular. >> by the way, ironically if you read the whole interview and not just one section, he talks very specifically about loving everybody, talks specifically by not being judgment, that that's god's decision. it is a remarkable -- there's sections where he sounds a lots like pope francis in a totally different framework. >> slantering people and then saying love everybody. people have been doing that time and time again. love the sinner, but hate the sin. >> but you two want to -- you get to edit the bible so that the parts that you approve
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are -- >> actually what we're pointing out is the he pockry sis that you want to justify the posit n positioning -- all the time. >>. >> first off, i completely disagree with this i think it comments on -- >> i can't wait until after this commercial break. listen, this controversy over "duck dynasty" is part of a much bigger conversation. next, as a southerner, who grew up in the church, i'll tell you the advice i would give to the folks on "duck dynasty" when we get back. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation.
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i grew up in rural west tennessee, the bible belt, then moved to the bay area in san francisco, i learned to talk with folks with whom i had almost nothing in common. is a mommens, lesbians, politicians, and i learned there were more ways to come across badly, and i want to up my skills. all black kids have to learn to talk in mixed company without giving offense, you don't figure that out, you fail. now we're all in the same boat. we're becoming part of this multiracial, multicultural country. watching phil robertson reminds me that all of us now need to up our skills. i want to talk with you about this part of it. like i just think -- now whatever you think about the content of what he said, the reasoning behind what he said, don't you think that some of this stuff is just in poor taste, poor tone? listen to this.
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he says -- he talked about we love'm, give them the good news about jesus, whether they're homosexuals, drugs, terrorists, let god sort them out later. being lumped in with drunks and terrorists, isn't that at least a bit offensive? >> unfortunately i know it offends you. it offends you to believe that homosexual is a sin. by the way, he also said that sleeping around was a sin, all these other things. and he was indelicate in his terms. >> do you think that -- let's just be honest we're. we're in a country that's becoming more and more multicultural. do you think that it makes good sense for people who are christians -- >> is it good marketing? >> no, do you think it's fair and makes good sense to tell a lesbian couple that's raising a family that's watching right now they should be on the same list
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beastality and terrorists? you think that's right? >> i would not say it like that, but i would say we are broken sinners, we all have sins in our lives, and it's okay to say that. every time you use the term, you know, bigoted and -- it's designed to shut down the debate. we've got to have the debate. >> let me get this straight. on the one hand when you want to quote the bible, it's okay to say things to -- >> i think the bible makes people upset. >> don't say that word, it makes people upset. i don't understand the -- >> here's the point. you know, my wife has written three children's bock about american history. you look back at the beginning and you realize why did the pilgrims come here? because they didn't have the right to say what they believed. why did the quakers come here? they didn't have the right. why was maryland the first american colony?
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they didn't have the right. you have a guy making a lot of money being who he is, he's asked how do you define sin? in his own way he describes it. and now we want to say, boy, we want to punish you. >> that is very, very different. william penn being persecuted for his religious expression by the government versus a private company making its own policies. >> but you're happy if he's persecuted and loses millions because you're offended? >> first of all, personally i wasn't offended, because i wasn't paying attention to him. i didn't pay attention -- truth be told, i didn't write about this, i didn't pay attention under governor jindal wrote a piece says this infringed upon his first amendment right, which it's not. >> you don't think the government infringes on people's freedoms right now? you don't believe the printest and florists going out of the business and the sweet daks
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bakeries. >> you know more about that then i do. but here's what i do not understand. ordinary, when we have good conservatives on like yourself, they love the free market. they love private corporations. they believe in them. they believe almost like a theology unto itself. here weft a private corporation making a business decision that it doesn't want to be associated with a private individual and now suddenly the first amendment. >> van, van i'm not arguing they don't have the right. i have not one time said -- but i think it's stupid business. hang on. i said they can. i don't think that they should and i don't think think that they will. >> but they already have. >> they'll bring him back, sweetheart. >> let me -- the shows with fred friendly, one of edward murrow as -- he said just because you have the right to do something
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doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. i want to show you how a & e explained themselves -- he personal views in no way reflect those of a & et network. now, here's my question -- can you imagine how you would have reacted if they came back and said we are strongly supporting phil, because we have always been strong supporters of christians? >> i'm a christian. okay. you can't imagine in modern news corporation saying they're strong supporters of christianity. in fact in the modern current secular culture, that would be a shocking moment for a & e to say we think christianity deserves to be supported and if that fonlds people, that's fine. do you know why you feel that way has very little to do with quote/unquote the secular world and more to do with the way a lot of christians tend to be hypocrites and abuse what it
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means to be christian. that's the reason you think that way. at the same time -- >> how do you know how i think? >> i've been watching you for decades. >> so you think that's how pope francis thinks. you know when pope frangs it is takes this view. >> i'm saying you. >> but his statements that we should love each other, but also he has sustained the doctrine of the church. now, does that make him whatever the psychological thing is that you're talking about? i don't get that. >> speaking of psychological stuff -- i actually am curious about how far you would go in defending inflammatory speech as long as it is cloaked with religious defenses. for instance, louis farrakhan says very offensive things in the minds of a the love
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americans. >> you know more about that than i do. >> okay. >> how about reverend wright. >> look at martin bashir. >> stay with religion. let's stay with religion. you have reverend wright who has said things that people found inflammatory. if they had contracts with shows and corporations and they said now that we've heard your views, even though they're religious, we reject them. would you be here defending louis fare khan? >> what sipped there's religious freedom. you have the right to private contracts in business. i need to say something about barnett bashir and where we draw the line. he specifically advocated violence against sarah palin. and i think that's an important differentiation to make. >> please stay here. next, the final question for both of our guests. we want you at home to weigh in on today's fireback question. was it right for a & e to
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suspend duck dynasty star phil robertson over his comments? hi honey, did you get the toaster cozy? yep. got all the cozies. [ grandma ] with new fedex one rate, i could fill a box and ship it for one flat rate. so i knit until it was full. you'd be crazy not to. is that nana? [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. life with crohn's disease ois a daily game of "what if's". what if my abdominal pain and cramps end our night before it even starts? what if i eat the wrong thing? what if? what if i suddenly have to go? what if? but what if the most important question is the one you're not asking? what if the underlying cause of your symptoms is damaging inflammation? for help getting the answers you need, talk to your doctor and visit to connect with a patient advocate from abbvie for one-to-one support and education.
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we're back. now it's time for the final question. and lz, we talk a lot about sensitivity, concern for others. as a republican i found the president's new counsellor, the following quote unbelievable.
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he said, they need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of jonestown in charge of one of the houses of congress. now in terms of american governing with civility, doesn't he almost eliminate himself from the white house by comparing house republicans to a jonestown cult that committed mass suicide and killed a congressman? >> i am always appalled. i'm an independent. let's get that out. there. when republicans and democrats alike are doing these ridiculous comparisons between tragedies and modern day politics. stop dragging in the holocaust, stop dragging in jonestown. it is ridiculous. >> i think that's pretty good. >> he is consistent. first of all i want to thank you both for being here. you can go to facebook or twitter to weigh in on our fireback question. was it right for a & m to suspend duck dynasty star phil
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robson over his comments? 28% of you say yes. 72% say no. the debate continues on c nmpb nmn and tomorrow, join s.e. cupp at 9:00 eastern. she will be guest hosting cnn piers morgan live. she will be interviewing my good friend glenn beck. among other things they will talk about who he might support in 2016. here's a preview. >> i'm done playing the game of, well, that means if we don't vote for that guy, we'll get this guy. we played that with john mccain. >> who would you like for 2016? if you could anoint someone today? >> i don't know. i don't trust any of them. >> s.e. is a great interviewer. and i know this is something she was really looking forward to doing and i don't know anybody recently who has had glenn beck for an entire hour. so i think it will be a fun evening.
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a huge get for her. a big ratings winner and i want to you watch the entire interview with glenn beck tomorrow at 9:00 eastern on piers morgan live. from the left, i'm van jones. >> from the right, i'm newt gingrich. join us tomorrow for another edition of "crossfire." erin burnett "outfront" starts erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- next, news. a ceiling collapses at a packed london theater injuring dozens. we'll go live to the scene. plus, hackers hit target. retailers say as many as 40 million customers may have been accessed. and a "duck dynasty" star suspended over his comments about gays. did a & e make the right call.


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